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Vol 53 No 12

Published 8th June 2012

Sierra Leone

Faultlines in the foundations

As Western governments cut aid to Africa, private foundations run by politicians and business people take on an increasingly politicised role

Private foundations such as those run by Microsoft founder Bill Gates and financier George Soros can marshal funds in Africa to rival the aid budgets of agencies such as the United Nations and the World Bank. Although foundations run by former political leaders, such as Britain’s Prime Minister Tony Blair and the United States’ President Bill Clinton, have less cash at their disposal, they often wield greater diplomatic influence.

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